Jerry Jones thinks kneel-downs should be banned


We’ve heard a lot of different opinions in the last few days about proper etiquette during kneel-down plays since the contentious end of the Buccaneers-Giants game on Sunday, but we haven’t heard anything quite like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ take.

Jones’ take doesn’t tell you whether he agrees with Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano’s belief in going full speed when the offense takes a knee or Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s belief that time left on the clock doesn’t mean every down needs to be fully played out. Jones wants the play banned altogether because he thinks that it lowers the entertainment value for fans when teams don’t run plays until the game is over.

“I don’t like it,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “Lamar Hunt tried several times to introduce a rule to have it voted on that you couldn’t kneel down, you had to run a play. Unless you were trying to advance the ball, then you got a penalty and the time didn’t run off the clock. It’s not a good play. I’ve always thought that that’s a wasted play for our fans”

The Cowboys took a knee three times to end their win against the Giants, so his desire to see the play abolished hasn’t actually stood in the way of the team minimizing their risk on the field at the risk of alienating the people off of it. Not that there really seems to be much chance of that. Most fans are just fine with kneel-downs as long as their team is the one doing the kneeling and it’s hard too many other teams are thinking that they’d like to make the final moments of a win more tense.

Having said that, you can’t deny the positives of the idea. Forcing teams to play out the final seconds with a slim lead would make for entertaining viewing and you’d probably wind up with at least a couple more thrilling endings each season. That makes it fun to think about for a few minutes, but the chances of seeing it enacted would seem to be about the same as Jones hiring a General Manager.

128 responses to “Jerry Jones thinks kneel-downs should be banned

  1. OK, great. So how would that even begin to be enforced? 15 yard penalty if the QB falls down? What if QB falls down by accident? I guess then it would be a judgment call. Hey, that’s an even better idea….it can be the referee’s decision of whether the offending team is really trying or not and the ref can just give the ball to the other team.

    Yep, banning the kneel-down would work out great.

  2. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with him. However, don’t use the old it lowers the entertainment value for the fans routine. Most owners and coaches don’t care about entertainment value for the fans when they sit their starters at the end of the season after they have their playoff position wrapped up.

  3. How do you determine if the team is really trying to advance the ball? Is a QB sneak trying to advance the ball? A FB hitting the line and falling down?

    Dumb idea. It’s part of the game.

  4. It wouldn’t change anything. Coaches would just tell the running back to get on the ground as soon as he gets the ball. If it was the QB all he would do is sneak and fall down as fast as possible.

    There is a reason it’s called the “Miracle” at the Meadowlands it’s because it took a miracle for the Giants to lose that game even while handing the ball off. Personally I feel that it would be a real shame for a team to lose after a botched hand-off after outplaying their opponent for nearly 60 minutes.

  5. If the kneel down was banned (which it won’t and shouldn’t be), teams would just hand the ball off and have the RB immediately fall. Moot point, Jerry.

  6. Jerry probably believes having to play in Seattle should be banned also. Figures he chooses NOW, given the team involved, to speak about this. He had no problem with Romo lucking out by having a Division LVIX CB in coverage on the final pass of the game, and kneeling afterward, did he?

  7. And here I thought that Roger Goodell would be credited with killing the NFL. Turns out, it’ll be Jerry Jones.

  8. Of course he thinks this. It wasn’t Romo having his knees dived at. Had Schiano tried this on the Cowboys, Jerry would be pushing for a public execution of the guy.

  9. I don’t agree with making the play illegal, but I do think Schiano is 100% correct in trying to actually defend it. If a forced fumble run in for a touchdown would affect the outcome, there is absolutely no reason to not go for it. If Coughlin doesn’t want to risk his starters getting hurt, let him put his second team in.

  10. If the other team kneels its because the losing team didnt play well enough to deserve another shot. Morons.

  11. Seems crazy that one would propose a rule telling you what types of plays you can run when you have the ball (so long as they’re fair). If Jerry wanted to maximize plays (we’re talking 3 max here), why stop there, why not abolish the running clock or shorten the play clock?

    But it also seems crazy that someone would be worked up about players playing football with time on the clock.

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

  12. I agree with Jerry (and I’m a Redskins fan). Play the game until it is over. So what if it’s tradition or whatever to kneel down, change it. Play hard football til the end of the game.

  13. Kneeling is part of the game, but it does suck that games end at the 2 minute warning, or actually the play before the 2 minute warning if that results in a first down.

  14. Jerry, you own a team. You are one of the most powerful owners in the NFL. You don’t need to make these public statements. If you think the victory formation should be illegal, bring it up at the owner’s meetings and take it to the competition committee.

    I don’t understand why this is up for debate this week. This has been in the game for as long as I can remember, and up until this week it was never a big deal, but now it needs to be debated endlessly for some reason. There was a post on here last week about how the Panthers were still bitter over the Saints running up the score on them and going for records when they should have been using the victory formation, you can’t have it both ways.

  15. The kneel down rule has been around forever , just because the BUCS blew the lead and lost the game, got fustrated and bull rushed the GIANTS doesnt make it right. We all know what the formation was, all teams have done it at one time or another. Face the facts BUCS, you lost . Show a little sportsmanship, your all grown men.

  16. cmb79 says: Sep 18, 2012 8:10 PM

    Of course he thinks this. It wasn’t Romo having his knees dived at. Had Schiano tried this on the Cowboys, Jerry would be pushing for a public execution of the guy.

    I nearly fainted laughing.

  17. I’d prefer them just cut the play clock down to 25 seconds or so after the 2 minute warning instead to eliminate a team running out the last 2 minutes with kneel downs, as that is boring. 25 seconds would mean that the team would either have to run plays or kneel 3 times and punt, regardless of the timeout situation. If they leave it like it is, that’s fine, but if they would change something, I’d say the 40 second play clock that allows a team to end the game with 2 minutes left is the way to go.

  18. Trying to make yards is easily faked and the rule would result in actually attempts at making yards being ruled a non-attempt, this is a non-starter. Bad idea.

  19. This is a great idea. We already have rules for intentional grounding, and refs already determine when a player has willfully given himself up such as the QB slide. This would be easy to enforce. It’s also keeping with the spirit of the 2-minute warning.

  20. The Arena League didn’t allow kneel downs. Every play had to have the ball cross the line of scrimmage or else the clock stopped. Teams would just throw the ball out of bounds, but it had to be a forward pass and it did make things kind of exciting at the end without adding tons of late hits or injuries. Just a thought….

  21. All fun and games until your RB gets injured.

    Anyone who is anyone knows if you can’t take a knee, you are going to hand it off to the RB.

    What happens when said RB gets injured on that play?

  22. If you have a penalty for not trying to advance the ball, then you will need one for the defense not trying to STOP the advance of the ball. It was Schiano’s defense that intentionally allowed the Giants runner to walk into the end zone for a TD. His players didn’t play every down till the game was over. They rolled over. If Schiano wanted his players to cause a fumble on the Giants kneel down at the end, perhaps he should have instructed them to not lay down on the last TD, but instead to play like real men and take the ball away from the runner. Lots more runners have fumbled at the goal line than quarterbacks in a kneel down.

    Schiano is a hypocrit.

  23. I know at one time (not sure about still) that the arena league had a rule where, during the last minute of the game, the clock would stop after the play unless the ball was advanced past the line of scrimmage. Thus, a team could not run out the clock by kneeling down three times, unless there was 9 seconds left on the clock. This rule would be easy to implement in the NFL, and would probably solve the “problem” to which people refer here.

  24. There is nothing wrong with having the QB kneel down to run the clock out. The NFL has enough rules already, they don’t need to add more.

    What I want to know is, after all this talk about the Buccaneers playing every minute of the game if they plan on kneeling down in similar situations when they are ahead? And if they would be fine if Josh Freeman suffered a torn ACL on a play where a DB hit his QB after taking a knee?

  25. Jerry would feel alot different if Tony Romo were to get injured on this play…or one of his lineman. Schiano was playing the role of a frustrated, sore loser whose team blew a lead in his homecoming. Look at what Schiano did to Norfolk State. That’s who he is. There’s nothing wrong with the Victory formation. Josh Freeman had a chance and threw it away like Tampa threw away their timeouts.

    If Belicheck had his way, there would be no extra-points. Jerry would’ve liked that when Romo was the holder in Seattle.

  26. I love the idea. No other sport can u just eat the ball/puck whatever to end the game. I love the idea of banning the kneel down. Make them play to the final gun.

  27. The Cowboys took a knee three times to end their win against the Giants, so his desire to see the play abolished hasn’t actually stood in the way of the team minimizing their risk on the field at the risk of alienating the people off of it.
    So what. So his team plays by the rules while he seeks to change them….

    I guess the premise is the writer thinks that if he doesn’t like the rule he shouldn’t enjoy its benefits … that is pretty ridiculous and a simplistic way of thinking.

    I guess the writer believes that those people that think income taxes are too high are hypocrites for continuing to pay them….

  28. If they were to ban the kneel down, wouldn’t teams just run a QB sneak? That would be trying to advance the ball, yet wouldn’t end up much different than a kneel down.

  29. Well then change the rule so the refs can interpret when a player intentionally downs himself in this fashion and whistle the play dead, relieving the defense of any obligation to hit the opposing player.

    It would be similar to the QB slide rule. As soon as the QB’s butt hits the turf, the play is over. The ball stops advancing, he is down and any hit by an opposing player is penalized.

  30. By this idiots reasoning – teams shouldn’t be allowed to spike the ball to stop the clock then either….and unless he instructs the coaches to never do this again, then he is a hypocrite.

  31. If the ball carrier goes to the ground without contact in the final 2 minutes of a half, the offense is charged with a timeout, if they have no timeouts, they will be charged with a 5 yard penalty and clock stops loss of down.

  32. This is so stupid, this was never an issue for so many years until the dumb Bucs coach decided to “play to the whistle”.

  33. Its a moot point. If you eliminate the victory formation then all you’d have to do is QB sneaks instead of kneel downs and it’s the same result.

    Are we going to try to get rid of the field goal next because touchdowns are more exciting?

  34. “What I want to know is, after all this talk about the Buccaneers playing every minute of the game if they plan on kneeling down in similar situations when they are ahead?”

    How is that relevant at all?

    The Bucs are not arguing that the Giants should not be able to kneel down.

    The offense should be able to run any legal play that they want to run, while the defense should also be able to a run any legal play that they want to run!

  35. F! Jerry Jones. Bring back the true officials! Two weeks of watching garbage as an NFL fan, and I am frickin tired of it. Drop in the bucket for the owners, and we, as fans, want the true officials back. Get it done, owners. These last two weeks have been a horrible punchline. Bring ’em back. I want NFL caliber football, called by NFL caliber officials. Enough is enough. MNF was the most embarrassing example of ineptitude in calling a game that I have seen since 1972. For the integrity of the game. Nice mantra, but your mantra fell apart in the preseason.

  36. Jerry Jones has always been more concerned being entertaining than winning, so this comes as no surprise.

  37. Seven days ago, he probably had no problem with it. Now……..whatever team is on the losing end of the V formation had plenty of time to force the issue the other way. Suck it up and deal with it. Yes, that means the team I root for, too.

  38. Oh, and the kneel down is a live ball until the player holding the ball is touched by an opposing player while one of the many body parts that could be touching the ground, as long as the guy with the ball controls it. I loved the decision to smash the line. There is no count off. Until the final second clicks of the clock…game on. Its an example of the NFL being weak compared to NCAA football. Oh, we just give up. OK. they’re going into a kneel formation…F that. Liked what the Bucs did. they played the game to the final second.

  39. Champguy81 is right. The Arena league has a rule in the last minute you must advance the ball. It makes the last minute of play exciting even if your team is trailing as opposed to the NFL where depending on the time out situation, the first play after the two minute warning can end the game. Then you watch them sit down for almost 2 minutes before the end of the game.

    As long as there is time on the clock, you should be trying your hardest to win. No coach says let’s go out and play a full 58 minutes. If teams are worried about their starting QB getting hurt, put in the back-up. All he has to do is cleanly field the snap and sit without fumbling if he gets hit.

  40. From a life long Cowboy fan of 44 years: Jerry–shut up! please, shut up. If you are the GM, you need to work on improving this team, not commenting on every silly little thing that comes up on blog/gossip sites like these. You prove every day “Jerry never met a microphone he did not like”

  41. There are no “Gimmes” in Football. In golf the ball must hit the cup before you’re out. Imagine in Baseball if the last batter kept one foot out of the box and let you pitch strikes? If the league allows it then they should just call the game at 90 seconds if you have 3 timeouts. Dont make me sit through it. You Play until the whistle no exceptions no etiquette BS and you sure as heck don’t fake a spike and then expect that in the last 3 seconds taking a knee someone shouldn’t come after you. Jerry is right.

  42. Oh boy, we are so lucky. This play happens about once every ten years or so in the NFL and this gives the talking heads something else to yell and discuss along with the replacement refs. The replacments refs are not the best but neither are some of the regular refs. The press and the talking heads and lets not forget the lawyers all have something to say about the NFL besides the game itself.

  43. dondada10 says: Sep 18, 2012 8:01 PM

    Then what would be the victory formation?


    The same, but you’d just use it to move forward like in The Mighty Ducks.

    Jerry Jones should lead the charge on end-of-game fouling in the NBA.

    Intentionally foul in the last two minutes and your mother gets slapped in the face by the opposing team’s owner.

  44. The kneel down became a must do for offenses nursing a lead in the final seconds after Herman Edwards pulled off his Miracle At The Meadowlands back in 1978. Any coach knows that it will cost him his job if he runs a real play in those circumstances and it turns into a disaster, costing his team the game.

  45. Jerry also believes that the league should go with officials who have no experience, credibility or any business being on the field, so I’ll chalk this one up as another one of Jerruh’s ill advised opinions.

  46. Under two minutes left, the clock only starts on a positive yardage play. If the ball is not advanced the clock stops. This would force teams to play and give defenses a chance and fans hope till the end. Love it!

  47. I have always said the CFL clock rules at the last 3 mins of the first and second half should be adopted to the NFL. The clock stops after every play until the referee rests the ball, and they also use a 20 sec play clock which i think would be wise for the NFL to adopt.. Who doesnn’t wanna see more plays to end the game?

    Its kinda weak when a team can just kneel the last 2 mins if the other team has no timeouts.. That really makes the ending quite anti climatic if its a close game.

  48. Jerry Jones would say the sky is green just to fight with the giants.
    Not at all shocked he has something to say here.

  49. bertilfox says:
    Sep 18, 2012 9:30 PM
    Another dumb idea to fix what isn’t broken. If you’ve earned the Victory, take a knee!
    ====================================Except that you haven’t earned the victory until the clock says 0:00.

  50. All the NFL has to do to make the last two minutes of each half exciting is to change the play clock to 20 seconds after the two minute warning. Then teams wouldn’t be able to run out the clock with 3- 45 second kneel downs.

  51. I’d like to see them ban kneel-downs if it’s a one-score game inside of two minutes. QBs shouldn’t be allowed to spike the ball to kill the clock either.

  52. I love how everyone has had an opinon about this but when it’s jerry jones u idiots wanna turn it into something about the cowboys and about him. I know the cowboys have won 5 super bowls and been to like 14 NFC championship games and are worth more money the any other team but damn u dummy’s hate how the cowboys are so popular but yet u constantly wanna talk about them. Jerry jones is a b@d @ss and a great owner so get off his nuts. I love the boys but I dnt even talk about them as much as some of u people find someone else to cry about

  53. Really dumb idea. What will happen is the fullback will be given the ball and he will fall straight to the ground. … Someone will end up getting hurt that way. … And likely you will have fights breaking out over it.

  54. I was thinking…in most cases in the NFL a ball carrier has to be touched down by an opposing player to end the play. Every now and then someone forgets to touch a reciever that is laying on the ground and he subsequently gets up and takes off.

    In the victory, no one touches the QB down, but the play ends. Are QBs given special priviledges in the rule book for kneeldowns and slides?

    If ya get really literal with the wording of the rules…one could make a case that spiking it to kill the clock could be intentional grounding

  55. You don’t want a team kneeling on you??

    How about you stop them before it gets to that point and get the ball back.

    The point of kneeling down is to say, “We don’t need to score anymore against you. We’re trying to win a game here, not pile on. If you want, I call the Saints in here and have them score another touchdown, beating you by more points.”

  56. I think it should be banned, I’m from Australia and I wake up every Monday morning at 3 am to watch football.. I hate it when the final play is a kneel down, it really just takes all the entertainment out of the game. I’m 15 years old really need my sleep but I’d rather watch the football, but I would rather watch some comeback football from Peyton Manning than watch Matt Ryan take a knee.

  57. This whole thing is stupid. Just recognize that the other team isn’t giving up with 5 seconds left down by 7 and tell your line hey they look like they are coming at us here

  58. Look if the score is close it is the offenses responsibility to recognize that the defense is coming and block them it not like they tried to hide it.

  59. Jerrah is on point with this idea. For once, I agree with the man. And it’s a very simple fix. Inside of two minutes left a the end of the game, the clock will automatically stop for any play that does not get positive yards.

    Problem solved.

    This removes any “judgment” calls by the ref to determine if a player/team actually tried to run a play. If a team runs a play inside two mins, and gets positive yardage, then the clock keeps running. Forces the opposing team to play tough, smart defense, and they can stop the clock if they have timeouts, or if they stop the offense for a loss. It also means no more of this pansy take-a-knee BS. It forces the offense to play tough and smart too, right up until the end of the game.

  60. First off it were not the Giants it would be no big deal but all of haters of the Giants and NY in general are just blowing it out.

    A better rule would be to ban Jerry Jones from speaking to reporters.

    Jerry is the leader of the Giant hater club
    The Giants ruined the opening of jerry world
    The Giants took the cowpokes out of the only playoff game in how many years.

    Mr. Mara is the owner who is the most respected in the NFC East

    Jerry can not stand the fact that the Giants are the team in the NFC East and his cow pokes are not even relavent

  61. It’s amazing that every time Jerrah open his mouth, he spews nonsense. I guess that’s why the media keeps quoting him. It would be so nice if he would just fade into the background like many other NFL owners, but that’s not Jerrah’s style. He LIKES being the center of attention, especially the three-ring circus he calls a football team. Such is the life of someone who can afford to buy a football team and doesn’t know a thing about football. That’s like me buying a Lear jet but not knowing how to fly… but I make sure to tell the pilot how I think it should be done.

  62. Applying Jerry’s reasoning,
    (a) neither quarterbacks nor any other player should be allowed to slide or yield until forcibly brought to the ground by an opposing player;
    (b) a defensive player who snags an interception cannot just lie down to protect the ball in the closing minute of the game; and
    (c) quarterbacks should not be allowed to either spike the ball or drill one into the stands without being called for intentional grounding.

    How many concussions did Jerry say he’s had? I think they’re showing now.

  63. Removing the play doesn’t mean the concept will go away. It just means that teams will get sneakier to play it out. It also doesn’t guarantee “excitement,” just up to 3 more plays.

  64. Actually, for all you saying there’s no way to make this work, there is.

    The Arena League has a rule where you have to advance the ball on a play or else the clock stops as if it were an incomplete pass. So kneel downs and bogus running plays would do no good in this spot. It basically turns each of those kneel-down plays into goalline-stand type plays where even one out of three stops behind the LOS may be all a team needs to get the ball back with a little time. The more stops behind the LOS by the defense, the more time for its offense to go to work. The team leading at that point can still seal it by picking up positive yardage.

  65. why?! he had every right to yell at them? what are coaches supposed to do, just let refs make ridiculous and wrong calls and when they always seem to go against the same team is that team just supposed to sit back and accept it? no this is harming the coaches job to so if they spot an error they will point it out

  66. I can see where the idea is coming from, but in an era where player safety is king there’s zero chance of this ever going anywhere. Up three TDs with a minute left, we’re going to make you run a QB sneak or FB dive and have lots of guys butting heads for no reason?

  67. I Think it should be banned if the winning team is winning by less than 8 points at the 2 mibute warning,if they are winning by more,they should be allowed to run it!

  68. Of course, the idea of banning the knee is absurd at least if one of the objectives is to protect the QB. You can always let the play continue until he is “downed.” by contact, but this does risk a nice hit in the squash. Likewise, expecting the defense to just sit there and not try to get the ball is just as absurd. Of course they are going to push until the whistle blows, especially at the end of the first half when a fake knee is a distinct possibility.

    I you are going to impose a rule of “trying” then we might as well have a panel of judges to rule on how hard players “tried” and the judges’ scores can then be added to the football score to determine who wins. We can call it gymnaball.

  69. I have thought there should be a limit to the number of times a QB could kneel down at the end of a game, and that number would be 1, 1 would be the number. I think hell has frozen over and pigs are flying because I (for the most part) agree with Jerry Jones (OMG that leaves such a bad taste in my mouth saying that…ARGH)….however, this isn’t the worst thing “broken” in the NFL at this point….just sayin.

  70. Just as long as this attempt to ban kneel downs doesn’t extend to women, then us men will all be fine with that, after all when some babe preforms the kneel down, the play don’t get no better than that.

  71. I think the “must gain yardage for the clock to keep running” would be interesting.

    Only problem I could see is that we’d have to endure a bunch of booth reviews. Almost any play where the RB just runs into the pile and then gets an arbitrary mark would be up for review.

  72. If you ban the kneeldown, that means your kick returner has to run out of the endzone from 9 1/2 yards deep.

    It means defenders who get an INT on the last play of the game can’t fall down, but has to keep running until he is tackled to ‘give the other team a chance to tackle you and force a fumble’.

    Gotta get rid of the spike to stop the clock.

    Since every play with negative yards stops the clock (as some of you want it), when YOUR DEFENSE gets a sack or stops the ball carrier for a loss when that team is trying to make a comeback, the clock must stop (benefit to the losing team). That’s like a free timeout.

    In a nutshell, ONLY A FOOL thinks this is a good idea.

  73. All this clock stopping nonsense would create 4+ hour games. Seems like a good idea until it’s your team that has a lead and can’t run out the clock.

    It’d be like your boss telling you that you have to spend ALL of the money you make every week (two weeks). You can’t save any of it because ‘it’s bad for the economy for you to hold on to money’, so you MUST spend it all. You have to spend it, even on stuff you do not need. If you don’t or can’t spend it all, you must give away what’s left.

    When you put gas in your car, you’ve got to use all of it in one setting. You must always eat all of the food on your plate. And in the pot. No leftovers.

  74. jazz11001 says: Sep 18, 2012 10:15 PM

    There are no “Gimmes” in Football. In golf the ball must hit the cup before you’re out. Imagine in Baseball if the last batter kept one foot out of the box and let you pitch strikes? If the league allows it then they should just call the game at 90 seconds if you have 3 timeouts. Dont make me sit through it. You Play until the whistle no exceptions no etiquette BS and you sure as heck don’t fake a spike and then expect that in the last 3 seconds taking a knee someone shouldn’t come after you. Jerry is right.


    actually in golf your opponent in match play is allowed to concede a gimme putt to you if it’s a very very short putt.

    and in baseball there are no intentional strikes, but there sure are intentional walks. do you think the hitter should be forced to swing at the intentional balls?

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